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Thursday, September 29, 2011
Epstein: 'We did this to ourselves'

By Joe McDonald



BALTIMORE -- Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein held court after Wednesday night's shocker in Baltimore. Below is a partial Q&A:

Q. Is it a shock?

A. “It’s baseball, I guess.”

Q. Thoughts on the season?

A. “Disappointment. You get off to a bad start at 2-10, then you go 81-42 and then September happened. It’s impossible to explain. It’s a disappointment. We’ve got no one to blame but ourselves. We did this to ourselves.”

Q. Was September about injuries?

A. “We don’t make excuses. Things went wrong from an injury standpoint, luck or fate or whatever you have it, but the overriding factor was poor play. We did it to ourselves and there are no excuses.”

Q. Do you think there’s an issue with the makeup of this team?

A. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to try to answer that right now. We’re all in an emotional shock and that’ll be answered at the postmortem.”

Q. Did you ever feel during September that the club could turn it around?

A. “We were doing, trying to do the little things behind the scenes to spin it around. You can watch games over and over and see if there’s something we can help with. Talk to players, talk to the team, address the team at one point, trying to help. You never give into inevitability of fate. You work hard to turn it around, we just couldn’t do it.”

Q. Pinpoint one thing in September?

A. “We’ll get into that at some other time. Obviously we didn’t play good baseball and pitching led the way. As far as not playing well, there were a lot of factors.

Q. On missing the playoffs two years in a row.

A. “Every year you have to look at where you are as an organization and not just the current season. You look at trends and where you’re going in the future. We have a responsibility to do that every year and when we have a month like we just had, it will only intensify that effort that’s for sure.”

Q. Flaws?

A. “We can’t deny this month happened because it was preceded by four months of being the best team in baseball. It doesn’t mean baseball didn’t happen. We have to take a very close look at everything that’s not right and we have to fix it and that includes the whole organization. I guess if there’s any silver lining it’s you can’t look the other way. If there’s anything that’s not exactly the way you want it, you have to address now and that process is going to be difficult but it’s something we have to do.”

Q. Most difficult end of the season?

A. “It’s one for the ages, isn’t it? With how poorly we played in September, we can’t sugarcoat this. It’s awful. We did it to ourselves and put ourselves in a position for a crazy night like this to end our season. It shouldn’t have been this way. We’re 7-20 in September, if we go 9-18 we’re where we want to be. At 9-18 is winning a third of your games, the worst teams in baseball win a third of their games. There’s no excuse. We did this to ourselves."